Take it easy, enjoy the drive and lean into some country style hospitality while you return your Sundays to their real purpose – reconnecting, relaxing and eating! All just an hour from Melbourne.
Take a whole month of Sundays and enjoy the Nillumbik way of life!
A day out at Edendale Community Environment Farm in Eltham will be sure to excite the kids! They can pat the guinea pigs, feed the chooks, meet a pony, a turtle, the lizards, goats and sheep (babies too depending on what time of the year it is). Kids can get ‘hands on the land’ with real farm animals, veggie gardens and orchards to explore. Edendale Community Environment Farm is a sustainability rich, fun zone that teaches kids about their world in an enjoyable, immersive experience. It’s only a gold coin donation to enter and you can pack a picnic or enjoy the harvest in the café. There’s walking tracks and cool artworks to see and loads of opportunities for natural play.
Finish off the day with a trip to the playground you wish you went to as a kid! Right across the road from Edendale, you won’t even have to move the car! The Eltham North Adventure Playground has a large shelter spanning a multitude of play activities, so the weather doesn’t matter and heaps of variety for the little ones and the big ones. Cubbies (shops anyone?), bike trails (ditch those training wheels forever), waterplay troughs (pack a change of clothes – this could get delightfully messy) and climbing-jumping-hanging spaces galore. Wear them out for the car trip home but more importantly take some memorable photos that will outlast Instagram!
Step inside a town that lives and breathes its Arts and Culture and take a trip to Eltham and experience one of Victoria’s top 8 Farmers’ Markets for yourself. The Eltham Farmers' Market market features many truly local stall holders (around 15 of the 40 stall holders are from Nillumbik alone) and is the go-to place for stocking up on all your weekly needs for fruit, vegetables, bread, condiments and sweet treats. Beyond the basics, you might be enticed by a little cheese, pet treats, dairy, coffee, nuts and seeds, olive oils and wine (phew). There’s a high ethos around sustainability and the market is plastic bag free, dog-friendly and easily accessible via public transport. The market itself is full of entertainment value – and there’s live music too! Redefine your food shopping!
There’s also a community market on selected Sundays, and the Food Swap is every 4th Sunday.
Montsalvat was founded in 1930 and is a truly special place to visit when in Eltham. The stone buildings, extensive gardens and grand halls speak to a time that has a European tone, with an Australian feel. Even if you don’t know much about art, you’re bound to have heard of at least one Australian artist that has spent time in this famous destination. Montsalvat is Australia’s oldest continuously active artists’ community; a place where art in all its forms is made and taught, and art’s transformative power is celebrated in exhibitions, festivals, concerts, workshops and artists’ residencies.
If you’re curious about how locals see the region and bring it to life in their art, then this is a wonderful dive into truly local culture and experience at Eltham Library Community Gallery. You might also find time to participate in artist demonstrations and workshops, interactive and collaborative activities, or catch some live music. This community gallery features exhibits from individual artists, artist groups or organisations and curators who live, work, study or have strong, ongoing links to Nillumbik.
Take a day to explore the real Hurstbridge – past, present and future
Walk in the footsteps of Hurstbridge’s pioneers as you explore the 3.6km heritage walking trail that takes you up close and personal with the historical and heritage sites of the region. This area has long been one of Melbourne’s primary food bowls and farming is still an important way of life. Start and finish anywhere you like and allow about an hour for your wanderings. Sites of significance have loads of interesting information to enjoy and there are plenty of local cafes, restaurants and shops to review too!
Cuddled an alpaca lately? These guys are a friendly bunch of coloured alpacas at an open day at Edendale Community Farm that will be delighted to let you feed them a nibble! See a real working alpaca farm and experience a little taste of farm life. There are also chickens, goats, cows, sheep and a variety of small native animals that can be viewed in the paddocks and enclosures.
Visit the cafe for a light lunch or coffee on the alfresco dining deck or bring along your own food and a picnic rug and find a piece of lawn to spread out and relax under the shade of a tree.
When you’ve been making wine for more than 30 years, you know a thing or two, right? From the soil to the bottle, Shaws Road Winery is a local business with big ideals – and more than a few awards to prove it. Visit this working winery and, after a home-style meal, a wine tasting and a cellar tour in the underground cellar, take a walk and meet the farm chickens, the wine doggos and chill in the beautiful farmhouse gardens. That’s life!
Your day starts in Kangaroo Ground and ends with a happy belly, a wonderful wine, and a view.
Ask a local about ‘Wellers’ and you will soon realise just how loved this important piece of local history is. Fondata 1872 is an authentic Italian restaurant set among the rolling hills of Nillumbik, with views to enjoy and fabulous food and wine to savour. A loving restoration of the buildings (originally built in 1872) has created a destination that is overflowing with country charm, with an urban sophistication that is present in the locally inspired menu, the best-of-Nillumbik wine list, and the passionate people that make Fondata so special.
With 360-degree views that span Melbourne, the northeast suburbs and the Dandenong and Kinglake Ranges, the Kangaroo Ground Memorial Tower is a ‘high’ priority for your day. Built in 1926 on the highest hill in Kangaroo Ground, this outlook is a top-of-the-world experience with panoramic photo opportunities so have the camera ready!
Once you’ve taken in the view from the platform, take a wander through the gardens. There are picnic and toilet facilities on site.